Affective facial expression processing via simulation: A probabilistic model

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Journal Article
Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures, 2014, 10 pp. 30 - 41
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Understanding the mental state of other people is an important skill for intelligent agents and robots to operate within social environments. However, the mental processes involved in `mind-reading' are complex. One explanation of such processes is Simulation Theory - it is supported by a large body of neuropsychological research. Yet, determining the best computational model or theory to use in simulation-style emotion detection, is far from being understood. In this work, we use Simulation Theory and neuroscience findings on Mirror-Neuron Systems as the basis for a novel computational model, as a way to handle affective facial expressions. The model is based on a probabilistic mapping of observations from multiple identities onto a single fixed identity (`internal transcoding of external stimuli'), and then onto a latent space (`phenomenological response'). Together with the proposed architecture we present some promising preliminary results
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